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RobR

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  1. Lovely to revisit this 2005 ballet, choreographed by the wonderful and much missed David Fielding; Artem Vasiliev's original score is still as fresh as it was then. It really was an enjoyable performance. Victoria Collinson has kept faith with the original production but introduced various subtle changes that smoothed out and developed some aspects of the 2005 production. The company was well drilled and had clearly benefited from coaching by both the LCB team and various former and current members of the RB. The effort put into staging the production was very much appreciated by the audience and the large number of young performers and young onlookers can only be positive for future generations of ballet lovers. Whilst it would be invidious to single out the various performers, the two little girls playing the naughty twins were prominent in carrying much of the humour of the staging.
  2. I acknowledge and appreciate the earlier concerns expressed about the depiction of women in Manon and the proposition that the C18 scenario should be updated to reflect contemporary mores. Developing this concern I worry about the health and hygiene issues raised by Armand kissing his tuberculosic lover on the lips and Marguerite failing to wash her hands after holding them to her mouth following her numerous coughing fits. Should Ashton’s ballet be updated, should her maid appear earlier with a bowl and towel or should the cast list carry some sort of warning?
  3. I think this terrific review encapsulates all that those who really love Manon feel about this ballet. I should, by rights, have quoted the full review but that would have been otiose. Many regular ROH attenders have remarked to me that Manon is their all time favourite ballet and I can understand why, particularly after reading the above review. I'm not sure if Manon is my overall favourite; it is certainly in my top 5. One of the strengths of the production and choreography, in my opinion, are the number of roles available to RB dancers and the various opportunities they have to show how well they can dance, whether in a principal role or a less prominent one. This is no bad thing given the strength of the Company.
  4. It was a typical Triple Bill (except we were treated to four pieces). As with all Triple Bills, some of us will have enjoyed one particular piece more than another. Just a matter of how we see it and the mood we are in watching it. All four pieces beautifully danced by a great cast and each rapturously received by a packed and enthusiastic audience, particularly Forsythe's 'Playlist'; classical ballet danced by an all male corps to heavy house hip hop (I may be a little out of date with my ability to discern modern music styles) at the end. My own favourite was Aszure Barton's 'Fantastic Beings', crisply danced by a very well drilled company and showing to advantage the strengths of the ENB. I would very happily watch this again.
  5. Just back from Bolle, Nunez, Sambe & Beatriz S-B. Absolutely brilliant dancing and acting by the whole cast. Wonderful evening.
  6. Has anyone a spare SCS or Balcony standing or frontish amphitheatre ticket for Wednesday 11 April?
  7. Whilst I completely accept that there are two perspectives on the role of those in the background, a hallmark of MacMillan's fabulous ballets is the involvement of those supporting the frontline performers. I always feel that I am emotionally transported to an 18 century Parisian brothel or a bustling Veronese market square filled with tradespeople and bored (but armed) teenagers 'hanging out' with their chums. MacMillan's ballets are anything but static and that is one of the many great strengths of his productions. I am regularly frustrated watching the summer performances of the Russian companies, in which brilliant principals perform in front of a backdrop wooden faced, inanimate onlookers who might as well have stayed in the dressing rooms for all they contribute. Still, it's a matter of style and taste.
  8. She was, and Bonelli was terrific too.
  9. Thanks, I only recalled the red coated doormen
  10. When did they change from red-suited footmen to dinner-jacketed presenters?
  11. C'mon guys, It's a ballet based on a play (as opposed to a fairytale) and, IMHO, a vehicle for lovely dancing rather than cause for motivation, meaning and psycho-analysis. Or maybe I’m wrong and we'll have to start wondering about whether Seigfried is really in love with a princess turned into a swan by an evil psychopath or if Siegfried is really in love with a swan he thinks is a princess. And please don't get me started about whether or not James can actually see the Sylphide (which no one else can see) or if he just imagines he can see her
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